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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003

    Question Please tell me about your experience with joint IRAP therapy?

    Was it just done immediately post surgery, or was it because of joint inflammation? What were the results? Did anyone have any negative reactions or problems with the procedure? What protocol did your vet use, procedures, stall rest, hand walking?

    It looks like the next thing we are going to try with my horse (who had stifle surgery a year ago) is IRAP. Her xrays and ultrasounds look good, but there is unexplained inflammation and 2/5 lameness. I'd love to know other people experiences so I know what to expect and what problems might come up.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2000
    Southern California - on a freeway someplace


    Star's was done into the coffin joint, but it was to treat damage to the collateral ligaments, so my experience may not be what you're looking for. There was no surgery.

    Vet pulled blood into a special test tube that contained beads. The beads contained something that was supposed to amplify the anti-inflammatory protein. A week or so later, she injected the material into the coffin joint. It looked pretty much like any other joint injection. We alternated IRAP and shockwave for a total of three sessions each. All of this was done at the barn.

    I had been tack walking, possibly b/c the vet felt sorry for me hand walking in the summer heat of Chino Hills. He was still lame (maybe 1/5 at the trot at this point). We went back to hand walking for the duration of the treatment and then for two weeks beyond that. And then I had a sound horse. We started tack walking again at that point.

    The vet who did the MRI and scintigraphy said that most of the articles I would find at that point (summer 2008) would be on its use for bone-type injuries, but that his opinion was that it might be better for soft tissue. Who knows? Even my vet's website indicates that they really don't know how it works -

    There were no issues.

    About a year later he was slightly short in front and she reinjected the coffin joints using the usual HA mixture. She said that we could go to IRAP again if that didn't work but that it wouldn't be as extensive of a lay-up this time, but I don't remember the info.

    If you really want a reading assignment, check out the linked block in my signature.
    The Evil Chem Prof

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2008
    At the office


    My horse had IRAP late last fall for wear and tear on a fetlock due in part to compensating for an injury in the diagonal hind. No surgery. Had series of 3 injections about 10-12 days apart. 3 days of stall/run rest after each, then right back to work. No problems. Results were very dramatic. Vet got a 4th syringe out of the blood draw and we injected that "booster" about a month ago, as he was starting to show a little discomfort again. Results good again. I think science thinks it may help healing, but is not a miracle cure necessarily.

    I may consider periodic injections for maintenance as long as the intervals aren't too short. At least it is treating the inflammation directly. All in all, I am pleased with the results, given the fact that this had become a chronic lameness problem.
    Fear is the rocket sauce.
    Jack Black

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007


    A friend has a 19 year old competitive barrel racer that had an injury to his stifle at 5, that healed fine and he went on to win much for her all these years.
    He was a little off on that old injury last year, went thru other protocols, finally last fall, the vet tried IRAP theraphy.
    He had a month of rest, then started slowly back and she is now again running him lightly and winning with him.

    She was going to retire him, but the vet said no, keep using him, that is really better than retirement for those kinds of injuries, until they are more advanced.
    She also has a 38 year old, that she had since he was a 2 year old and was competitive until about 30, so she knows about older horses and maintenance.

    Don't know how long this will work, but she and the horse are doing great, for now.

    I hope that helps, but remember, each horse and injury are their own special case, not two alike, although the good outcomes do give hope for more good outcomes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003


    Thanks for the input. By not I should have learned to expect the unexpected with this mare! We just need to get this inflammation under control and see if it helps with the foot drag. Also, IF we do end up doing another surgery, I would like the joint to be a little more "calm" beforehand.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2008


    My mare has undergone IRAP as part of her recovery from stifle arthroscopy, which was performed in Feb. She's been on stall rest with handwalking twice a day at increasing intervals since the surgery. Our vet just completed her third IRAP injection and said that she is healing nicely. As far as I could tell the IRAP injection resembled any other joint injection. I did notice that she had a bit of swelling for a few days after each IRAP injection, but it resolved itself and she never seemed uncomfortable.

    She is not scheduled to go back to work until mid-June, so I can't give you an idea of how successful the therapy was, but hers was used for ligament repair (she tore her medial meniscus ligament). We will re-xray the first week of June to determine her stifle prognosis long-term.

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